A novel insurance offering launches today to cover medical expenses — up to $20,000 out-of-pocket — related to mountain biking and other injuries. Spot is available in 17 US states where coverage is priced at $20 per month (except in Texas, where it’s $35 a month). I spoke with CEO Matt Randall back in June to learn who this insurance is for, and how the program works.
In 2018, about 27.5 million Americans (about 8.5%) were not covered by health insurance at any point during the year. And for the hundreds of millions of Americans who did have insurance coverage, individual deductibles are estimated to average nearly $1,500. For those without insurance or with a high deductible, a relatively minor mountain biking injury like a broken finger could easily cost $1,000 or more out of pocket.
“We want Spot to motivate people to go out there and go big,” Randall told me.
He says medical expenses are the number one reason people go bankrupt in the USA today, a sobering thought that can easily harsh even the best ride. One of Randall’s motivations for starting Spot with his business partner, Maria Miller, a former executive at NY Life, came from an injury he suffered while riding in Moab.
Similar to the search and rescue coverage included in hunting and fishing licenses issued in many states, Spot is designed to supplement any insurance a rider might already have, up to $20,000 for accidental injuries and $50,000 for accidental death and dismemberment. Plans are offered month-to-month with no long term contract.
The plan is said to be backed by some of the world’s largest insurance companies. However, unlike actual health insurance, it doesn’t cover illness, self-inflicted injury, or things like maternity care.
How it works
Riders subscribe to the plan on a monthly basis, and the out-of-pocket cost of any doctor-recommended and administered medical treatment related to an injury (whether it’s mountain biking or falling down the stairs) will be reimbursed, up to $20,000. For example, if a rider with health insurance breaks an arm and has to pay their $1,500 deductible on a $4,000 bill, Spot picks up the $1,500 deductible. If someone without health insurance suffers the same injury, Spot pays the full $4,000.
The plan is designed to cover injuries that happen anywhere, though the service is only available to residents of select states (see the Spot website for the full list).
At launch, Spot has enlisted a roster of sponsored ambassadors for the service, including mountain biker and videographer Joey Schusler. I asked Randall if he thought having coverage might encourage riders to take more risks than without. He acknowledged that it is definitely “a plan that encourages people to take risks.”
What do you think: Is this a product you might find helpful, and why or why not?